Alain Passard started his career at the age de 14, at the Hôtellerie du Lion d’Or in Liffré under Michel Kerever. From 1976 to 1977, he worked at La Chaumière in Reims under the supervision of Gérard Boyer and, from 1980 to 1984, he worked at Le Duc d’Enghien, at the Casino in Enghien, where, at the age of 26, he became the youngest ever chef to be awarded two stars.
In 1984, Alain Passard moved to the Carlton restaurant in Brussels, earning the restaurant two stars within two years of his arrival.
In 1986, Passard purchased the three-star L’Archestrate restaurant belonging to his former mentor Alain Senderens, renaming it L’Arpège. It only took him a year to earn his first star, and another year to earn his second. L’Arpège was awarded its third star in the Michelin Guide in 1996, and has kept it ever since.
In 2001, Alain Passard withdrew red meat from his menu and focused his attention on vegetables, stating, “I believe I’ve gone far enough with meat and poultry. Today, I’m looking to explore a new realm – that of the vegetable.”
In September 2002, Passard opened his first kitchen garden, a 2-hectare plot of land around 230 kilometres from Paris. Its vegetables are grown organically and the use of machinery is prohibited, with only a draught horse to help the gardeners with their work.
He acquired a second garden in Eure in 2005, and a third in Saint Michael’s Mount Bay in 2008. Three gardens in three départements, to give his vegetables the true stamp of the terroir: Sarthe sand for carrots, asparagus and leeks, Eure clay for celeriac and cabbages, and Manche alluvium for herbs.
In 2010, he was awarded a “pépite” at the Globes de Cristal ceremony, for his participation in the spread of French culture, and in October the same year Éditions Alternatives published his “Collages et Recettes”, a book of recipes illustrated with his own collages.
THE 2012 jury
- Alain PASSARD, French Chef, owner of the three-star "L’Arpège” restaurant in Paris
- François Barré, Chairman of the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire
- Chantal Colleu-Dumond, Director of the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire and its Garden Festival
- Christian BOURLANGES, Plant professional – TRUFFAUT Compagny
- Alain COSSON, Plant professional – TRUFFAUT Compagny
- Caroline DE SADE, Journalist, gardens chief editor of “Architecture à vivre”
- Soazig DEFAULT, Landscape architect - journalist
- Ariane DELILEZ, Secretary General of the French Landscape Federation
- Alex DENMAN, Show Manager for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
- Hélène and Patrice FUSTIER, founders of the Courson “Plant Days”
- Jean-Bernard GUILLOT, Regional Chairman of UNEP
- Guillaume HENRION, Chairman of the Parks and Gardens Association in the Centre Region
- Jean-Pierre LE DANTEC, Historian and writer, director of the National Higher Institute for Architecture in Paris La Villette until 2006
- Dominique MASSON, Gardens and Landscape Consultant, DRAC Centre Region (Regional Directorate for Cultural Affairs)
- Michel RACINE, Landscape architect-lecturer at the Landscape School in Versailles
- Béatrice SAUREL, artist
- Bernard CHAPUIS, landscape architect and Gérard DOSBA, head gardener, Domaine de CHaumont-sur-Loire